3940/6940 The Photobook
The history of photography as an art has been mostly on the page, not on the wall. This course refocuses the standard museum and gallery history of photography back to the book. Significantly, it takes advantage, through field trips, of the proximity of Cornell to the George Eastman House in Rochester, whose library houses the most important photobooks from around the world, including the best creations from Russia, Japan, and the United States. Students will learn the basics of photographic printing, book construction, the role of the photobook in the rise of the artist’s book in the twentieth century, as well as advanced skills in analysis of the photographic picture and sequencing. Major themes will include the scientific photobook of the nineteenth century, the documentary photobook of the 1930s, the propaganda photobook of the communist era, the postwar photobooks of Japan, the personal/domestic turn of the 1970s, and the present state of the photobook in the digital era.